December 8, 2013

Musical Flashback.




Way back when in the 1990's, there lived a band called the 2 Skinnee J's.  They are described by the annoying term "nerdcore hip hop", but I like this description from their Twitter page better:  "If Public Enemy had a schoolyard fight with Devo, it would sound like 2SJ".  That's actually very fitting in a lot of ways.  I discovered them in the mid 90's when they opened up for one of my all-time favorite bands.  A band from my hometown who still has a huge following locally, but only had minor success nationally for a quick minute many years ago.  Anyway, I think it was night two of one of their annual 3-show Christmas extravaganzas that I first laid eyes and ears upon the 2SJs.  I was immediately hooked, as was my BFF who was with me at that show.  We became big fans, and over the next 4-5 years saw them live maybe 5 or 6 times.  They had a solid cult following around the country, and saw minimal mainstream success.  I believe the last time we saw them was at an all-day music festival, which was sponsored by a local radio station that our good friend was working for at the time.  He got us backstage, and we got to hang out with the Js and the rest of the band for a bit after the show.  The Js ARE skinny indeed.  Very slight and shorter than they appear on stage.  They were friendly and very non-rock star acting.  I don't remember much else, other than feeling like a giddy school girl because I was hangin' with the 2SJs!.  I think they broke up within a year of so of that show, because I recall in conversation with one of them he alluded to there being trouble in paradise.  I was bummed out when they split, and have remained bummed out since then.  Every so often I think of them for no apparent reason, and get out my SuperMercado! CD and keep it in my car for a good month or so, listening to it dozens of times before I've had my fill and it's put away again for a while.  I recite every line of every song.  Every.  Damn.  One.  If you are going to listen to one album by this band, make it this one.  Superb album. 

I just happened to enter one of those 2SJ phases in the last 24 hours, again for no apparent reason, which prompted me to do some Googling to see what they are up to.  I discovered some rumors floating around their Facebook page that they might be getting the band back together next year!  Please, oh please let this be true!  I don't want to get too excited, but I did notice in my research that they are marketing the hell out of their merchandise all the sudden, and they also played a limited number of random shows in recent years that I was unaware of.  And according to some (all) of the YouTube videos I scoured from those shows, they rocked and had the venues packed.  So, based on the facts presented I'm going to choose to believe this awesome rumor, as I'm mildly depressed because my job is making my life miserable and this gives me something to look forward to.

Here's one of the videos I found, just to share a sample.  This is my favorite song by them.  And I love belting out this line:  "A hallucinogenic, my phonetics get frenetic when I said it my hyperbole is hyper, my energy kinetic".  Yeah, try rapping that one folks.  Not as easy as it appears.  The show looks like so much fun I can barely stand to just sit in a chair and watch it.  Love the stage crashers. 

December 7, 2013

Concert Review.

A few months ago I saw a sweet double bill consisting of Iron Maiden and Megadeth.  I became a huge Maiden fan back in my early high school days, but somehow in all these years never saw them live.  I had pretty much assumed that moment would never come, but lo and behold the band is back together and making new music!  I was so thrilled about it, they would've had to really suck it up for me to be disappointed.  Still, I did expect them to sound a bit below par, and figured Bruce's voice would show signs of wear.  I don't think that is a stretch considering their heyday was 30 years ago. 

Well, once again, my pessimism paid off, because I was overly surprised by how tight the band sounded and how strong Bruce's vocals were.  He can still hit those high notes!  And they sound great!  And not only that, but Bruce ran around that stage like he was on the first tour of his life with something to prove.  Everything about it was superb, including the setlist.  It was worth the price of admission alone just to hear "Run to the Hills" live.  I admit it brought tears to my eyes.  For a brief moment, I was completely transported back to the early 80's, as I sang with reckless abandon and recalled a much simpler time when I had no worries or responsibilities other than to rock my face off.  I let off a lot of stress and joy and angst during that song.  It was better than therapy.

I am a Megadeth fan, but let's not be mistaken.  This night was all about Maiden for me.  Megadeth did show their age a bit, but since I had never seen them live before either, I still enjoyed their set and the experience of seeing them in person.  Other people I know who were at the show and had seen Megadeth multiple times said they sounded terrible, but I had nothing to compare to, so I was okay with it. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again....you'll never find a nicer crowd than you will at a metal show.  Yeah, there might be exceptions when it comes to certain metal genres, and I can't vouch for a lot of newer metal bands and their younger crowds, but when it comes to good ol' classic heavy metal, everyone is automatically friends through a mutual love of ye almighty headbanging, and it's simply divine when that happens.  When "Run to the Hills" started, my idiot friend had gone to the bathroom (I warned her it was probably bad timing).  When the song got going, I thought "goddamn mother fucker...this song is bringing memories and tears and a big potpourri of emotions to the forefront right now, and I'm all by myself!".  Granted, I was surrounded by a few thousand other people, but at that moment, I needed to connect with someone over what was happening.  Does that make sense to anyone else, or am I alone in this experience?  Anywho, as Bruce headed into the chorus for the first time, and I'm feeling like a volcano full of emotion about to explode, suddenly an alone guy across the aisle and I made eye contact (his friend was also gone, I realized) and within a split second we simultaneously met in the middle of the aisle, put our arms around each others' shoulders like old pals, and belted out that chorus in unison, while fist pumping, along with every single other human being in the joint.  We proceeded to sing the rest of the song like that.  We never spoke, never introduced ourselves, nothing.  Just two early 40-something metalheads, strangers, connecting over a past they never shared.  When the song was over, we high-5ed each other with a thankful look in our eyes for being there for each other, and went our separate sides of the aisle.  It was awesome.  Here are a few pics from the show:







September 2, 2013

Happy Holidays! And Other Stuff.

Happy Labor Day, folks.  Hope the holiday weekend treated you well and involved offensive amounts of food, adult beverages, and relaxation.  No labor allowed! 

My weekend included a meal so delicious I had to share.  Feast your eyes on this feast:
 
 
 
What you see there is a homemade Korean feast, courtesy of some very Caucasian friends of mine who happen to be into all things Korea.  We share a love of Korean cuisine and trying to create it on our own.  Except that the farthest I've gotten is mastering Korean-style chicken wings, whereas my friends, on the other hand, do fancier, much more involved things like you see above.  What you are looking at is one of the best pork dishes I've ever had.  I'm a huge fan of pork (that's what she said), especially the slow-cooked, shredded variety.  This is exactly that, along with some special seasonings and a coating that involves, among other things, dark brown sugar.  It doesn't end up overly sweet, just enough to balance the salty, but what does happen is the sugar creates a crust on the outside of the meat that is out of this world.  The traditional style is that everyone just goes at it, tearing off shreds of meat as they go, wrapping it in a lettuce leaf with some rice and a special spicy sauce, and eating like you'll never have such delicious pork again in your life.  At least that's how I approached it.  There was also some kimchi, scallion pancakes called Pajeon, and some crunchy pickling cucumbers drenched in a spicy sauce that involved potentially toxic amounts of Korean chili powder.  I've come to the conclusion that Korean food is probably the ultimate cuisine for me, despite a serious love of Thai and Mexican.  It often involves three of my favorite things:  pork, cabbage, and serious spicy heat.  The fact that they often like making things into pancake form is a bonus.
 
In other news, my new job that I bragged about not so long ago sucks royal ass.  I won't bore you with the details except to say that I got screwed and was not delivered the exact job I was promised.  In addition, the program I am working on, which I thought was going to be somewhat groundbreaking with far-reaching implications, is a complete joke.  That is not the fault of my employer but with, shall I say, a government entity who developed and sponsors the program.  They are not holding up their end of the bargain which means people are pissed which means I go home at night feeling like I screwed up peoples' lives even more as opposed to helping them.  It's not a good situation and once again, I am looking around for jobs.  Fuck. Me.
 
On the positive side, my final news of the day is that I'm gearing up for an Iron Maiden/Megadeth live double bill, and I am more than ready and prepared to release all of this anger and frustration at that show.  Thanks for throwing me a bone with the timing, universe.
 
Enjoy the remaining sliver of your holiday, my friends.
 


August 8, 2013

Fuck tha Police.



One of the best albums of all time, and definitely in the top 5 of all rap albums (possibly top 3 for me personally), was released 25 years ago today.  I'll spare you the split second of math/effort and let you know we're talking 1988 here.  What in the goddamn hell?!?  Is that possible?  I'm gonna date myself here for a moment and say that I was about to start my freshman year of college at that time.  Which feels like a motherfuckin' long ass time ago when I think of it that way.  Yet, when I only think about the music from this album, for some reason it doesn't feel like all that long ago.  Not sure why that is, but perhaps it is saying something about this masterpiece - like it is somewhat timeless.  Although the sound might be timeless, the style unfortunately isn't.  Man, this was when the genre of "rap" was in its early growth spurt and was totally awesome.  When the style du jour was what they call "hip hop", but not the same as what they call "hip hop" nowadays.  There is a difference.  I miss those days.  Nearly all of my favorite rap albums are from that era.  I do like a handful of current rap artists, but give me some Public Enemy, The D.O.C., Run DMC, Eric B/Rakim or Schoolly D any day of the week.  This album is also often considered the beginning of what they call "gangsta rap", which I don't typically consider myself to be a huge fan of, but yet in the old days, in the old way, it didn't turn me off like a lot of current gangsta rap does now.  I really don't care all that much about the violence-promoting aspect of it.  I mean, in some ways, yes, it's probably bad for little kids to hear that kind of thing.  But I can't fully go there because I'm the 40-something lady who regularly listens to The D.O.C. song "The Grand Finale" at full blast in her car and raps along with Eazy-E's portion of it at the top of her lungs when he says (raps), ..."Fuck the car, I'll do a motherfuckin' walk-by".  AND I do it with a hardass look on my face while flailing my arms and making what I think might be gang symbols at whomever might be driving next to me.  Great lyric from, in my opinion, the best rap album of all time and one that was WAY, WAY overlooked by the masses.  But I digress, because today is about N.W.A.  Rest in peace, Eazy-E and thanks for the continued good times.  Motherfuckin' walk-by.  Classic.

July 4, 2013

Happy Holidays.


Happy 4th of July, my internet friends (the American ones, anyway).  I have to work for a bit tomorrow morning, so my 4th will not see me getting too crazy.  I made no commitments to anyone today, and instead decided I would aim for relaxing, taking my time, and doing whatever I feel like doing as the day goes along.  So far, that has included getting up at my leisure, going to the gym, drinking coffee, and doing a load of laundry.  There might be a pedicure in my future, there might be a BBQ, but regardless there will probably be a few Lime-A-Ritas.  Those things are awesome!

I've never been a huge fan of the 4th of July.  I think because it's typically 100 degrees in the shade here on the 4th.  When I was a kid and spent my summers with relatives a few states away, it was the same scenario.  That side of my family LOVES the 4th, however, and always did it up with a huge family party and lots of fireworks.  Still do, in fact - they are probably enjoying cocktails and grilled meats as I type this.  You'd think with that annual childhood experience I'd love this holiday.  Sure, I've always enjoyed a good party, and of course I like fireworks, but how can I fully enjoy all of that when I'm sweating my ass off in the unforgiving midwest July heat and humidity?  And that's what I think of when I think of this holiday.  Fucking hot as hell.  Sweaty.  Blaring sun singeing my fair skin.  Mosquitoes. 

Miracles do happen though, and this year my fair city will only hit a high in the mid 80's.  Woot!  Of course, this is the one year I'm not doing a whole lot of celebrating and have no big plans since I just started a new job and have to work tomorrow.  Which probably means I should just skip the pedicure and go to my friend's BBQ, to at least take advantage of this rare, beautiful, non-humid Independence Day.  They are few and far between, and I must partake.  Glad I just talked myself into that.

Happy and safe celebrating to you!

June 16, 2013

Concert Review.

I recently saw The Dead Milkmen live.  I never saw them play back in the day, and I jumped on the opportunity.  I figured there was no way it would suck, and that if nothing else, the nostalgia it would induce would be worth the price of admission.  Plus, when do The Dead Milkmen ever tour?  Never, that's when.  This is why I had to go, as it very well might've been my only chance. 

This show was held at a very small venue that maybe holds a few hundred.  It ended up being a very hot ticket, as I came to find out they were only playing a handful of dates for this tour.  Like maybe 10.  It sold out early on, and there were ZERO tickets for sale online in the weeks leading up to the show despite buyers willing to pay $100+ a piece.  You read that right, $100 for The Dead Milkmen.  Call me increasingly intrigued.

The venue was crowded as fuck.  I've been to plenty of shows at this venue, a few that were sold out, and this show was clearly oversold.  I understand, it's a hot ticket, and that's what these types of venues do in such a situation.  I've been around, I know the ropes.  But the problem is, I actually grew up with the Dead Milkmen generation, which means I'm in my 40s now and am no longer a fan of such crowded, sweaty, oversold chaos like I was in my teens and early 20s.  There are things you sacrifice for rock n roll though, and comfort is one of them, so I had to suck it up.  When I first walked into the venue from the gorgeous 68 degree evening we were having outside, it took my breath away.  It was about 20 degrees hotter and 100% more humid, which increased as the night went on.  There goes the good hair night.  The only bar, of course, is at the far end of the rectangular room.  I had to use positive self-talk and deep breathing the whole way back just to avoid a claustrophobic panic attack.  I completed my mission, and immediately headed back to my safe zone, which was against the back wall opposite the stage and fairly close to the door.  I had a comfy spot there off/on the whole night, and I was still only about 40 feet from the stage and could see perfectly.  Once I settled there I made a point to drink my delicious Miller High Life on the speedy side.  This was for a few reasons:  it would make me less irritable about the crowd, it might help cool me off a bit, and I wanted to finish it and get another beer right before the show started so I would be good to go for a while.  So I drank that beer in about 10 minutes and sure enough, I did feel a tad cooler and I was a bit more relaxed.  I took a deep breath and headed to the back again, hitting the restroom and then the bar, where I got a tall-boy can of Stag with the intent that it would be my last beer for a while.  Then, right as I returned to my safe zone, the show started as if right on cue.  I made it to the halfway point right as I finished my big beer, so I took a much needed break from the heat and went outside.  I spend a good 15 minutes out there and completely cooled/dried off.  Yeah, I missed a few songs, but I could hear out there anyway, and the cooling did me a world of good and put me in a position to go back in for the rest of the show. 

The show was superb overall.  Very much what I expected, musically and otherwise.  They played a very long set list and a long, extended encore and all the classics were heard.  Lots of singing along from the crowd, which was especially fun and somewhat emotional when they played the chorus of "Life is Shit".  It was definitely a nostalgic experience and seeing those guys up there playing at their age was a humbling reminder of my own age, which I sometimes forget.  Probably because I still choose to do things most 40 year olds don't, such as spend 2 hours in a sweat-filled inferno full of people while listening to punk rock.  Although, I must say most of the crowd was in my general age bracket, give/take a few years.  Some still authentic punk rockers, some having transitioned into a more responsible, suburban look.  I tend to fall somewhere in the middle.  On the surface I am probably more on the conservative side, but I tend to wear mostly black and typically can be spotted in a concert tee, Vans, and a hat when not at work.  Actually, sometimes even while at work.  On this night I wore my Guitar Wolf t-shirt, in case you were wondering.  I got a few compliments on it.

By the end of the show I was dripping with sweat despite my break outside and despite hanging in back and trying not to move around too much.  There were a handful of guys without shirts on.  Really sweaty ones who had been in the midst of the mosh pit for the last few hours.  Some of them looked fine, others clearly overexerted themselves and looked like they were having heat stroke.  In the end, it was well worth the $23.50, the oversold crowd, the heat/humidity, and the sweaty bodies of strangers brushing up against me as they walked by.  Don't let all this scare you.  You're venue might be spacious and cool.  Regardless, this show is a must if you have the chance.

Here is a short clip from a show this spring in NYC.  It's not the show I was at, but it's pretty much what I experienced. 

June 8, 2013

Black Metal. Not Really. Sort of.

Holy criminey hell, check these NYC metalhead kids out!!  Eleven year old kids!  And they will rock your face off!  Yes, there a bit of refining to be done, but goddamn!  If these guys are this good at 11, I just hope I live long enough to hear them in their prime.

But wait, there's more.  It's 3 Black kids!  That makes it even more awesome, as we all know Black metalheads are too few and far between in this world.  And get this - not only is it three Black 11 year olds playing scorching original metal, but one of them has the last name Brickhouse.  I kid you not.  It's perfect.

The guitarist is the shit (that would be Mr. Brickhouse).  He is really fun to watch because it is blatantly clear that this kid has metal running through his veins and was born to rock his face off and there is no stopping it.  There is no way this kid won't be famous at some point.  When you watch, you will see.  He ain't no joke. 

Oh, and their band is called Unlocking the Truth.  I've got two videos below, but there's more out there.  Hold on to your face...





May 5, 2013

Note To Self.

Next time you place a bet on a horse, please go with your initial gut instinct and/or the best named horse, and ignore any thoughts about there being a science to picking a winning ticket.  It will save you about $40 and a fair amount of self-directed anger.

Thanks,
Me

May 4, 2013

Derby Day!

Awwww yeah, it's Derby Day.  One of my favorite holidays.  I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've missed the Kentucky Derby in my lifetime.  I attended it 4 times, and I suggest that all of you put that on your bucket list if you have not done so already.  Holy hell is that a good time.  Although, times have changed and it's different now.  No more coolers, more more giant jugs of alcohol, no more sneaking in of kegs in unbelievably creative ways.  Thanks, terrorists, for ruining all the fun.  I'm glad I went when I did - all 4 times in my 20's - when it was pretty much a free for all. 

This year looks to be an interesting year for the Derby.  We have the potential for our first female jockey winner (on Mylute, a real stunner of a horse).  We have a Black jockey riding in the Derby for the first time since 1921.  He's riding Goldencents, one of my picks.  The only Black jockey to ever win the derby was way back in 1902, so that would be a big deal if he won, considering there are apparently very few Black jockeys in this world.  This is also the 40 year anniversary of Secretariat's stunning performance of the fastest Derby time ever.  I've talked about this before somewhere on this blog, so I won't bore you.  But I just have to say, it is quite incredible that Secretariat's record has stood for 40 goddamn years.  That's a long ass time.  In some ways, I don't want that record to be broken.  But if it has to be, I hope to hell I'm around to see it.  I'll probably cry if/when it happens.

You better believe I've got some wagers placed on today's race.  As usual, I liked nearly all of them and had a hard time deciding.  Add in the probable sloppy track factor, which really screwed with my mind.  I like to act as if there is a science to betting on horses.  At times, I've convinced myself there is (when I win).  Other times I ask myself why I don't just pick the horse with the best name (when I lose).  It's really anyone's race with a sloppy track.  Most of these horses don't have that experience, so there is nothing to go on.  So, I'm placing all sorts of bets on various horses that stood out to me.  I've got a trifecta box, an exacta box, and 2 bets on 2 different horses to win.  The worst case scenario is that I'm out $25 (I'm a cheap better) and it makes the race more exciting because there is the potential to win something and act like a big shot experienced horse picker.

Enjoy the Kentucky Derby, folks, the oldest sport in the nation (really, it is).  The fastest, most exciting 2 minutes anyone can ask for.  And for nostalgia's sake, below is Secretariat's fabulous run.  I get goosebumps every time I watch it.  Simply stunning, what that horse did.



April 20, 2013

Happy Holidays!...And Other Stuff.


Happy holidays, folks.  It's Record Store Day!  Record stores all over the nation are celebrating with special releases, live music, and other sorts of shenanigans.  Go out and buy some vinyl!

Not to be ignored, it's also 420 day!  Too bad I'm on the verge of getting a new job and can't celebrate. 

Things have been rather busy around these parts, hence my absence.  As mentioned, I've been in talks for a new job.  This is a good thing, as the grant that funds my job is coming to an end in a few months and doesn't look like it will be renewed, so at least I know I will remain employed.  Unlike previous job searches, this one didn't require a whole lot of effort.  One I came across via networking, the other came to me when they found out the other place was pursuing me.  I've never been in that position before, and I must say, it feels good to be fought over.  In a nutshell, they are essentially the same job, working on the same project, but the agencies are very different.  One is smaller but growing rapidly and is new to me and new to this project they are undertaking.  The other is a large entity who has done projects like this before, know exactly what they're doing, and I know what I'm getting into personnel-wise and otherwise, as I've been doing contract work on the side for them for the past year.  I'm pretty excited, as both are good jobs, both are a step up on the ol' ladder of responsibility, and both have future potential.  As easy as it came about, though, the whole process has been completely exhausting and ultimately became complicated.  Because it all came about in such a convoluted, unconventional way, in the past month I've had multiple random talks with each, a few "official" interviews (both almost 3 hours long), follow-up talks, salary/perk negotiations, etc.  My brain is tired of thinking about it and weighing the pros and cons.  What makes it complicated, you ask?  Well, of course, the worst-case scenario came true.  I finally determined the familiar entity was the best match, only to find that the other one offered me substantially more money.  Substantially.  Frankly, I was shocked and am still unsure how they could offer me as much as they did being so small.  As excited as I was at first, I eventually developed some reservations about it that have become increasingly pronounced, and I can't ignore my gut.  I don't want to make a decision based on money, because I feel that's bad karma and is simply not something I'm comfortable with.  More importantly, I have learned the hard way too many times in my life not to cross my gut.  The gut knows.  Yet, at the same time, I need to do things like pay bills, buy a new car to replace my dying one, and maybe retire someday.  I had to turn on my negotiating skills with the other, which I suck at and abhor.  But the salary they offered is way too low for the position and for my experience, and although I knew all along they could never match the other offer, if they can just meet in the middle I'd accept it in a heartbeat.  So now I wait for their response.  They said they are "willing to fight" for me, but I also know they only have so much money to work with, so I can only hope they can improve their offer enough that warrants taking it.  If so, it would ultimately be a boost in pay, although a much less noticeable one than the other.  But long term happiness is crucial, as is work/life balance, and I know that this job would provide that.  I also thrive on organization and knowing they have a system down, whereas the other place would essentially be winging it.  If they come back with a lower-than-desired amount, well, then I'm fucked because I will almost feel forced to take the other job that I feel a bit uneasy about.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

In other news, I'm just bought tickets for an Iron Maiden/Megadeth double bill later this year.  Woot!  I've never seen Iron Maiden so I'm thrilled about this.  Adding Megadeth to the bill is just gravy.  I look forward to rocking my face off.

I went to see the new Rob Zombie flick, Lords of Salem, on its opening night yesterday.  I've seen all the Rob Zombie movies and have liked them, some more than others.  This one was entertaining enough, but overall it's definitely not his best effort.  Except for a few brief scenes, it wasn't really scary, per se.  Which is ok, except that I was hoping to jump out of my seat a few times.  I would describe it more as disturbing and, basically, pretty fucked up.  Rob Zombie's movies are usually pretty high on the fucked up scale, and this was no different.  It's full of evil and I did walk out of there feeling a bit uneasy about what I had just witnessed.  It started out rather slow, though, and, in my opinion, was a bit disjointed and left some unanswered questions.  I need closure, people!  I don't like to be left hanging.  Regardless, I rarely go to movies at the theater so I enjoyed it for the sake of that, and I also enjoyed the popcorn, Dots, and peanut M&Ms.  It's all about the snacks.  Here's a trailer for a sneak peak:



That's it from KATN Central.  Hope all is well in your world.  I'm talkin' to you, my 3 readers.  Maybe 2 at this point.

March 16, 2013

The Booze of The Beast.

Iron Maiden is getting into the beer business.  Although I appreciate the nod to their British patriotism, I think The Beast, along with a high alcohol content kicker, would've been a much better name and more fun to market.

March 10, 2013

Louisiana Sinkhole Worsening.

I'm getting increasingly concerned by the day about the Louisiana sinkhole situation.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'm not surprised, because this thing has gotten virtually NO mainstream media coverage.  Which I will bitch about in a moment, but first, for those of you who are unaware of what's happening, here's an extremely brief, basic rundown.

Way back in August of last year, a sinkhole opened up in the Bayou Corne area of Assumption Parish in southern Louisiana.  Texas Brine Company is to blame, as they had breached a huge, old salt cavern nearby and underneath.  The Department of Natural Resources had given them permission to pump radioactive waste into that cavern, and later it was revealed that the cavern may have had problems stemming back to 2010 (which would explain the odd smells and bubbling water that residents have seen there for some time).  What started out as a sinkhole the size of a football field has grown to the size of nearly 9 football fields, or 8.5 acres, in the past 7 months.  In the last few days, news has come out that a second cavern right next to the sinkhole is now on the verge of collapsing, which would double the size of the sinkhole.  And it would take with it several houses as well as Highway 70, which can be seen from the sinkhole.  Keep in mind that Assumption Parish is an oil refinery haven with oil and gas pipelines running all over the place.  Oh, and I should mention that all of this mess is sitting right next to a well containing 1.5 barrels of liquid butane.  I have read that if it were to blow, the energy of such an explosion would be the equivalent of 100 Hiroshima bombs. 

In the meantime, the area is experiencing mini earthquakes/tremors and houses are shifting.  Toxic gases such as methane, benzene, ethane, propane, and hydrogen sulfide are being released into the air for all to breathe.  The sinkhole itself looks like a bubbling pot of water because of all the gases being released.  The road that leads to the sinkhole is bulging, tilted, and sinking, and will soon be impassable.  The Texas Brine Company, who was fined a mere $100,000 for the breach, has done virtually nothing.  Including admitting they are 100% at fault.  The governor, Bobby Jindal, has done absolutely nothing except ignore that this is even occurring.  He won't even speak of the potential catastrophe at hand, and he refuses to visit the site.  What a mother fucker.

This is a disaster that can and is getting much, much worse.  With all the media over-coverage of everything in today's world, especially disasters, I find it very curious that this has been blatantly ignored.  When the event first happened, there were a few blurbs on CNN and the like for a few days.  It's been silence ever since.  When the recent sinkhole occurred in Florida and swallowed that poor man alive, I thought perhaps the Louisiana sinkhole might be brought up again by association.  It was, in fact, as last Saturday I saw an article on Yahoo's front page.  I got excited, only to find the article disappeared after a few hours, and after some searching I found no other major media outlets had mentioned it despite talking about other recent sinkholes all over the country.  I admit I've grown fairly skeptical of our government over time, but I think it is clear that there is some sort of major cover up going on here.  This should be a HUGE story.  If that sinkhole blows, there will be extreme repercussions.  Not only will Louisiana probably be blown to bits, but what about the plethora of toxins that will be released into our air?  Never mind it would probably also trigger the New Madrid fault, which would then create even more catastrophe that would ultimately affect the entire country.  Erin Brockovich is visiting Assumption Parish as we speak, trying to bring attention to the matter, and in the process rallying the residents to demand some answers.  She also brought an attorney with her, who has offered to help out any residents who want to take legal action against Texas Brine.  I hope she can work some magic, because as each day goes by and the situation worsens, I fear how this story will end.  I also hope she hasn't lost her feistiness and tells that asshole governor, as well as Texas Brine, to go fuck themselves.

Update as of 3/11/13:  Looks like that crap ass governor is coming around.  Which, to me, means that the powers that be realize there is no more denying this dire situation.  May as well come clean before she blows in order to save face, no?  And I might add, there was a 2.9 earthquake today in the Gulf about 50+ miles from the sinkhole area.  Not good.  Not good at all.

February 8, 2013

Earthquake Concerns.

I know I've stated this before, but I'm starting to get serious concerns about a gigantic earthquake brewing.  Where, I don't know.  I'm just a gal who is interested in such stuff, but no expert.  But I do enough regular reading and monitoring of such happenings that I can say there is something odd going on and there might be big reason for concern.  Why?  I'll tell you.  In brief form.

In the Pacific there is a serious earthquake swarm going on unlike anything I've seen.   To be more specific, I'm talking about the Santa Cruz/Solomon Islands region, which is northeast of Australia and slightly southeast of Papau New Guinea.  Here's a link to recent activity in this area.

A few days ago there was an 8.0 quake in that area.  At the time, I thought perhaps that was the culmination of all the recent prior activity (which I assumed at that point were foreshocks).  However, it has continued since then with multiple quakes close to or over the 7+ range, which makes me wonder if what's been going on since then are truly aftershocks, considering they are almost the size of the largest one so far.  Here is what I have found:
  • There have been 35 7.0+ earthquakes in the Solomon Islands/Santa Cruz region in over 113 years.  About 15% of those have been in the past several days.  That's alarming to me.
  • If calculations are correct, since February 1st, nearly 2/3 of the 4.0+ EQs in the world have been in the aforementioned region.
  • There have been 149 EQs in this region in the past 72 hours alone, which, from what I've read, is the largest earthquake swarm in history (even if that's not true, that's a hell of a lot of movement in one small area).
  • There were around 10 6.0+ EQs in the 4 months or so prior to the big 2011 Japan quake.  There have been 14 of that size or greater in less than 2 weeks in the Santa Cruz region.
What in the goddamn hell is going on there?  Yes, it is an area that sits on the conjunction of 2 tectonic plates, but as you read above, this amount of activity is still abnormal.  And to add to that, other than the 8.0, why is this not being discussed in the media?  Yeah, info is out there, but only if you are a weirdo like me and look for it.  To me, this is big news.  Something major is going on with our earth in the pacific plate area, which sits on the Ring of Fire, and we should all be concerned.  Am I becoming paranoid (highly possible), or is this being ignored by the media for a reason?

One might say that all these quakes are a good thing.  Theoretically, the more quakes, the less pressure build-up for a big one.  But what is happening in the Pacific right now is completely abnormal.  I worry that something very big, and very damaging, is going to hit.  Will it be there or somewhere around there, such as Australia, New Zealand or Indonesia?  Will Japan get hit again (I hope not, for Fukushima and the world's sake)?  Will it be across the Ring of Fire somewhere in or off the California coast where there hasn't been much activity but perhaps pressure is building due to this activity across the ocean?  Since I'm not the expert I have no idea, but this cannot be good.  Not to mention all of the recent volcanic activity in the world, which I mentioned briefly in another post not long ago that I'm too lazy to look up and link here.  I hope I'm wrong, but something seems to be bubbling within the earth's crust and I fear that something major is upon us.  Of course, me sitting just about on top of the New Madrid fault is adding to my fear.  Hold me.






February 3, 2013

Hallelujah!

A miracle has occurred here, folks.  In the form of snow.  The first notable and measurable snow to speak of this winter.  I recently had convinced myself we may never have a decent snowfall this winter.  I felt I had to prepare myself for that, seeing as last winter saw only 4" total and we're already in February. 

What made this all even more exciting was the fact that there was no snow in the forecast.  None.  Not even talk of flurries.  Nor rain (it was 45° here yesterday).  Nothing was supposed to happen.

Side note important to the story:  I went to see the musical Priscilla, Queen of the Desert last night.  Which is, by far, the gayest thing I have ever witnessed.  And I do not mean that in a bad way.  Au contraire, my friends.  This musical was full of drag queens and (I think) transsexuals, superbly flashy costumes, lots of crazy colored lighting, and tons of sparkly stuff.  Oh, and an awesome musical score of popular covers that came straight out of a gay man's cd collection.  Or any woman who grew up in the 70's/80's.  I'm talking Donna Summer, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna.  Tons of disco classics, such as "Boogie Wonderland" (my all time fave), "I Love the Nightlife", and "Don't Leave Me This Way" by Thelma Houston (my 2nd fave).  They even pulled out the classic early new wave hit "Pop Muzik" by M!  No way!  I could barely stay in my seat with that lineup!  The whole thing was just pure awesomeness. 

Now, back to the weather.  We got to the theater right before showtime, around 7:45pm.  When it was over, we sashayed our way towards the lobby to leave, with an extra spring in our step due to all the supreme gayness we had just experienced.  And then, upon busting out of the orate, heavy theater doors that had kept us away from the outside world and in the dark for 2 ½ hours, we see.....snow!  Giant, beautiful flakes of heavy, wet, sparkly snow falling at a rapid pace.  And the theater district here is a rather pretty part of town, so it made for an extra special setting to experience this total surprise upon reentering the world.  And boy oh boy, do I love surprises.  I was elated.  Within .25 seconds of seeing that snow, before I was even out the doors, I screamed, "OH MY GOD IT'S SNOWING!  IT'S SNOWING EVERYONE!!!".  As a group, we were all equally perplexed.  "It wasn't supposed to snow", said just about every human being as they stepped outside.  As confusing as it all was, it was so beautiful.  People were shocked, but I never heard anyone complain.  After a night of nostalgic music that gave me a sense of peace because it took me to a time when life seemed so much more stable, safer and simpler, that snow was the icing on the cake.  It brought back some sense of normalcy.  Of how winter is supposed to be.  Of how winter always used to be.  It was comforting.  I wondered if other people felt that way too, seeing as no one bitched about it. 

Thinking we were experiencing just a heavy dusting, at best, we decided to go down the street and grab a few drinks and a snack.  With no type of precipitation even in the forecast, we figured it had to be minor and short-lived.  A little blue radar blob of flurries passing through, no doubt.  But as we sat there for 2 drinks and an appetizer, we could see the snow coming down harder and harder against the streetlight outside.  It was truly blizzard-like.  We wasted more time pondering how this could've possibly happened with zero foresight on behalf of any local weather person.  Then my friend remembered that this place had a patio, so we ventured downstairs to access it and see how things were looking outside.  I about shit my pants when I saw at least 3.5" of snow piled up on a table.  And it was still coming down.  Then my "old lady syndrome" kicked in, I started to panic a bit, and made us all leave.  The DOT isn't the best at clearing the streets here to begin with, and seeing as this was a complete surprise the roads had not been pre-treated, so I knew they'd be in bad shape.  Which concerned me more so for my friends, who had a much longer drive home than I, and it was getting late.  We all got home safely, but the roads were completely covered.  It was actually a nice drive and I absorbed every minute of the silence and the beauty.  I was not going to take this moment for granted.  When I got home, I immediately went to get my camera.  This could be the last snowfall of the year for me.  The only one.  I had to capture it, wee hours be damned.  We ended up with 4"!





         



January 19, 2013

R.I.P.

 
 
If you are a baseball fan, then you, like me, are in mourning right now.  Stan "The Man" Musial died today at the age of 92.  One of the absolute best to ever play the game.  And without steroids!  More importantly, in addition to being one of the best players, he was a superb human being.  He gave his heart and soul to the St. Louis Cardinals baseball club and their fans.  I can't imagine how opening day will feel in Busch Stadium without Stan getting paraded around during the pre-game festivities in his golf cart.  My heart hurts thinking about it.
 
The world has lost a true gem in Stan.  I ask you to please raise a toast to this man.  Even if you don't like baseball.  He deserves it.  I'm already halfway drunk, so I've done my part.
 

STAN MUSIAL CAREER STATISTICS

Hits     3630 (1815 in STL, 1815 on road)
Batting Average .331
Home Runs 475
RBIs 1,951

That's quite a career, folks.   Here's a recap of it from ESPN. 
 
 






May you rest in peace, Stan.  You will be missed.  Especially by one gal in the Midwest who is currently teary-eyed, drinking wine and wearing her red t-shirt that says perfectly simply, "The Man".  She will miss you greatly.  You were a peach.

January 8, 2013